We are experienced cruisers and had cruised on Costa Atlantica previously and based upon that experience decided to book this Christmas cruise at the last minute. It was a nice ten day itinerary, good ports of calls and duration in the ports. Embarkation was breeze at 2.00 PM and self-disembarked at 7:30 AM was a breeze as well.
Dining experience (vegetarian perspective) was the worst on this ship. Very-very limited choice for the vegetarians in the buffet and the main restaurant. On numerous occasions we had to sustain on same old spaghetti. Even the salad area on deck nine was severely limited. Being the Italian ship, one would expect a good pizza. Sadly, it was very rubbery & chewy.
Entertainment in the main theater was ok for four (out of ten) evenings and poor on other evenings. Entertainment on the deck nine pool area was lack luster and childish. Cruise director Max's performance was lacking. His usual final evening comment was: "... I am out of here". Guess we were expecting too much based upon our previous experience on Costa Atlantica with cruise director Andrea, he was awesome.
We observed very hard working junior staff (restaurant, stateroom steward, etc.). However, the senior staff was lacking smiles & warmth one would expect. On occasions, observed senior staff interacting sternly with the junior staff.
Majority of the fellow cruisers seem to be from Europe (may be Italian?). Some of them exhibited uncouth behavior (not following queue, eating in the buffet queue, smoking in non designated areas, spitting on deck, etc.).
Multilingual nature of the cruise could be fun but we wondered if it will be a cause for concern in case of emergency situation, especially considering behavior of some of the fellow passengers described above.
All in all, we are not sure if it was a good value for our $s, even considering lower cost compared to other options.